Bible Storying

An interactive journey through the Old Testament
Author: Jennifer Wright

In this detailed 17-page workshop guide from the Ndop region of North West Cameroon, Jennifer Wright describes how participants were taken on an interactive journey through the Old Testament:

What?
The Bible Overview Workshop is a two day workshop for leaders of church groups, such as listening group leaders and Sunday School teachers, with the aim of giving a basic knowledge of the overall Bible story and particularly aspects of the Old Testament which are important for understanding the New Testament.

Why?
We had trained people to be listening group leaders and children’s leaders, and they were generally doing well, however we realised that due to limited knowledge of the Old Testament, some were finding it challenging to lead their group because they were not prepared for the kind of questions that could come up unexpectedly when listening to or reading the New Testament – for example about the priests, the sacrificial system, the Passover feast, etc. Although they knew a lot of Bible stories, many did not have a very clear idea of what order they come in and how it all fits together.

How?
Geography: We had a simple map of the Ancient Near East on the wall and the whole room was set up to match the map. The participants moved around the room as they engaged with the material so they gained an understanding of the layout of the places we were talking about and the movements of the people of Israel, from Abraham’s first journey to Canaan to the return from Exile.

Timeline: Each participant received a blank timeline at the beginning of the course, and there was a large version of it on the wall. As we went through the material, we completed the timeline on the wall and the participants completed their own timelines to match it so they could take it home with them.

Telling Bible Stories together: We selected a set of stories to give a coherent summary of the Old Testament. Some stories which were well known to the participants were covered very briefly by letting them summarise them or in some cases act them out. Other stories were narrated or read from the Bible.

Questions: For several key passages, we asked questions based on the text in order to encourage discussion and bring out key points, especially when they would be referred to later. We also gave space for participants to ask questions.

Discussion topics – e.g. we finished the first day by making a large model Tabernacle (out of people, benches, a sheet, cardboard boxes, etc.) and then having a discussion of sacrifices, comparing the Old Testament sacrificial system to the local village’s sacrificial system.

Download a full description of the workshop as a PDF document.  [more...]

Monday 17 - Saturday 22 November, 2014
Redcliffe College, Gloucester, UK
Sponsor: Redcliffe College, Wycliffe Bible Translators, SIL

This intensive Bible Storying Course will give participants the skills to help people engage with God’s Word through the retelling of Biblical Stories. The method has been used with people who prefer audio or visual ways of learning as well as in cultures where the Bible is not available in printed form.

The course will help participants to:

  • Tell a story to a small group, help others to learn the story, and lead a discussion about the spiritual application of the story
  • Understand the worldviews of the group, which stories are most appropriate to the group and and how to adapt your story to a given worldview
  • Begin story crafting with a Bibleless language group, or people already with Scriptures but who need help in engaging with them to understand the Bible’s whole story. They could be somewhere remote or even in your own town in the UK or Europe!

For more details on the course and booking information see Redcliffe's website.

The course is taught in partnership with Wycliffe Bible Translators and SIL, as part of Redcliffe’s Centre for Linguistics, Translation and Literacy.  [more...]

DVD with 209 illustrations
Author: Graham Kennedy, Bible illustrator
Published by: Foundation Matters (2013), available from NTM

Created by Bible illustrator Graham Kennedy of Foundation Matters, these new Bible pictures have been chosen to illustrate and complement the stories that are included in New Tribes Mission's Firm Foundations Bible study curriculum. The 209 illustrations cover Bible stories from the Creation in Genesis through the Acts of the Apostles.

A catalogue with a small preview of each the images is available for download from the NTM website.  [more...]

Manuel pour faire un bon usage de la Bible dans chaque langue et culture
Authors: Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill
Published by: Presses Bibliques Africaines (2011)

"Ce manuel est un guide efficace pour une bonne préparation à l'étude biblique, à la méditation, à la prédication intégrant les réalitiés culturelles de chaque peuple."

This is the French version of the book Translating the Bible into Action by Harriet Hill and Margaret Hill. It is also available in Portuguese.

The French version can be obtained from Wycliffe Benin in Cotonou or from the SU department of SIL in Nairobi.  [more...]

How to Communicate Velcro Truth in a Teflon World
Authors: Avery T Willis Jr, Mark Snowden
Published by: NavPress (2010)

"It thrills me to use Bible stories because I am actually telling people the Bible. I don't tell them some scholar's viewpoint or describe an ivory-tower argument. I let the Bible speak directly to them instead of depending on others' interpretations. The Holy Spirit interprets and applies the Bible to people's lives when we engage them with questions."

This book encourages us to "make truth stick like Velcro in a Teflon world" by using Bible stories, dialogue, drama, and songs to make disciples like Jesus did.

The focus is on the North American context, to reach the digital generation and the millions of Americans who can't, won't, or don't read.  [more...]

Biblical Storytelling in Oral Cultures
Author: Paul F. Koehler
Published by: William Carey Library (2010)

From the book description on the Publisher's website:

"This is a complete and practical introduction to storying, especially for people who want to learn about using biblical storytelling in cross-cultural contexts and who want to train others to become storytellers. It includes many fascinating accounts of the responses of tribal people to the first proclamation of the gospel through storytelling.

"The result of years of research and field testing, Telling God's Stories with Power is a product of the author's own journey as he confronted the challenges of teaching the Bible in parts of the world where people are unaccustomed to a Western style of learning. Full of innovative and groundbreaking insights, this study is packed with ideas, explanations, and constructive suggestions stated in clear and simple language.

"Throughout the book there are extensive examples from the storytellers' own experiences. Tracing the movement of the biblical stories across multiple generations of tellers and listeners, storytelling is found to be superior for knowledge transfer and for bypassing resistance to the gospel in oral contexts, thus presenting clear evidence of the effectiveness of biblical narrative among oral learners."  [more...]

Como tornar a Bíblia relevante para todas as línguas e culturas
Authors: Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill
Published by: Vida Nova (2010)

This is the Brazilian Portuguese version of the book Translating the Bible into Action by Harriet Hill and Margaret Hill.

A tried and tested resource that encourages meaningful Bible use in multi-lingual contexts through both written and oral media. Includes activities, assignments, further reading resources and links to useful websites.

This version has two extra chapters in addition to those found in the English version - "Addressing human concerns: Alcohol abuse", and "Sharing your faith with animists".  [more...]